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The Windy City

Chicago, where I am from, is called the "Windy City." In the


winter a cold wind blows off Lake Michigan and it snows a lot.
The temperature gets very cold, sometimes below zero.
In the spring the weather is great. It's warm and the snow
melts. People plant gardens and start to play outdoor sports
like baseball.
In the summer it's hot and sometimes humid. People swim and
turn on their air conditioners to keep cool. Sometimes it rains or we get thunderstorms.
In the fall it's cool. People prepare for winter and buy warm clothes like coats and hats.
The leaves change colors and fall from the trees. It's very beautiful.
Raisins
Raisins are dried grapes that have been eaten for
thousands of years. Nearly 3,500 years ago, the first
raisins were discovered as grapes that were drying in the
sun on a vine. In medieval Europe, raisins were used as
sweeteners, medicine, and even as a form of money! In
America, raisins were first grown after an 1873 heat wave
in California destroyed its valuable grape crop, leaving
only dried, wrinkly, but tasty grapes on the vines. Soon, farmers began developing seedless
grapes in California that were thin-skinned and sweet. These grapes would be purposely
dried in the sun and became the popular dark raisin we eat and enjoy today. Later, a golden
variety of raisin was made by treating grapes with a chemical called sulfur dioxide and
using special methods to dry them. Today, central California remains the center of the
worlds raisin industry, producing nearly 95 percent of the worlds raisins. Its green valleys,
sunny climate, and hot temperatures provide the perfect conditions for grapes that are
dried into raisins.
Arctic Fox
The Arctic Fox is a small fox found commonly in the arctic regions of the world. Measuring a
little less than three feet in length, this fox is mottled brown in the summer and pure white
in the winter. Adult foxes weigh between six and twenty pounds, though most are closer to
six. Its thick fur coat helps insulate it from the freezing temperatures and windswept snow.
The Arctic Fox is the ultimate survivor. It will east just about anything including insects,
small mammals, birds, ducks, geese, eggs, and even an occasional Snowy Owl. Lemmings,
small mouse-like mammals are its most common prey. In fact, when populations of
Lemmings crash every three or four years, so do populations of foxes. Arctic Foxes will eat
berries and seaweed as well. When food is scarce, Arctic Foxes become scavengers. The
Arctic Fox is sometimes preyed upon by Polar Bears. Arctic Fox Vixens (female foxes) can
give birth to as many as 25 kits (baby foxes) in the springtime (the largest of any
carnivore). Most litters, however, contain between five and eight kits. Both male and
female foxes help take care of the young. While the Arctic Fox is common throughout much
of the Arctic region, it is exceedingly rare in the Scandinavian nations of Norway, Sweden,

and Finland, where populations never recovered from severe


overhunting. In addition, recent movements of the Red Fox into Arctic
Fox territory (probably as a result of global warming) threatens the
Arctic Fox population as well.

Swan and Lewis

Greentree
Wine
Company,
California,
USA
Greentree Wine Company has been producing
premium wine in the Napa Valley since 1980 and
markets wine under the Brown Canyon, Swan & Lewis
and Stratclith labels. In addition, GWC produces
several private labels for both domestic and
international customers. Last year, GWC bottled over
500,000 cases between their own brands, private
labels
and
custom
bottling
contracts.
The Swan and Lewis label, which retails for about $10, grew by 53 percent in 2012. Swan
and Lewis includes a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Pinot
Noir. The package was recently updated and includes the slogan, "Stick your nose in our
business."
The company is headed by Tony Swan and Glen Lewis who created the Swan and Lewis label
in 1990. Paul Jones is responsible for wine production and has worked exclusively for the
firm
since
1992.
The primary reason Swan & Lewis experienced record growth last year is that key
distributors got behind the brand. Swan said the secret of their rapid growth was "being
with the right distributors at the right time." He credits the rise in the value of the euro
relative to the U.S. dollar for making reasonably priced California wines more attractive to
distributors that previously were interested mostly in imports. "A lot of our distributors
were strong in imports but felt it wasn't a bad idea to have something from California," he
said.
"We need to be with medium-sized distributors, and we need to be with medium-sized
distributors that actually care about us, which is not the same thing."
Swan commented that with many wines designed to retail for $10, much of the emphasis is
on marketing instead of what the wine tastes like. "We depend on the wine," he said. "I
think $10 is an interesting price point," Swan said. "It's a price where almost anybody can
afford to buy but high enough where you can do something slightly interesting as far as the
wine is concerned. I think the American consumer has become more sophisticated and is
looking at interesting wines for around $10."
Emperor Penguins
Description: The Emperor Penguin is the world's largest and tallest penguin. It is also the
heaviest penguin, with some individuals recorded at nearly 100 pounds. Adults have a black
head, back, tail, and black wings. The underparts are dingy white. The sides of the neck
are marked with a large golden or yellow stripe. In addition, there is a varying amount of
gold on the upper breast. Like most penguins, the Emperor Penguin has thick, waterproof
feathers that cover the entire body except for the bill and feet. Emperor Penguins normally

live about 20 years in the wild, though some individuals have been
recorded at 40 years of age.
Diet: Crustaceans, krill, and small fish. Emperor Penguins will dive
to depths of 800 feet in search of food. Most dives last 3-6 minutes.
Predators: Sharks, Leopard Seals, Orcas. Chicks are vulnerable to
predation from South Polar Skuas.
Range: The Emperor Penguin is found throughout the Antarctic
perimeter. It is the only species of penguin to breed during the
Antarctic winter. Breeding takes place about 60 miles from the
coast in the Antarctic interior, where temperatures regularly drop to
-40 degrees Celsius. The trek from the Antarctic coastline to the breeding grounds was the
inspiration for "March of the Penguins".
Nesting: Female Emperor Penguins lay a single egg in May or June. After the egg has been
laid, the female must immediately feed in the ocean. First, the egg is carefully transported
to the male, who incubates the egg under a brood patch that rests above the feet.
Occasionally, the transfer is unsuccessful and the egg rolls onto the ice and instantaneously
freezes. The male will incubate the egg for up to 65 days! During this time, he will not eat
a single meal. On particularly cold days, hundreds of male penguins may gather together in
a compact huddle to warm themselves in the pounding Antarctic winds. In about two
months, the female returns and locates her mate and chick by sound. She regurgitates food
stored in her stomach to feed the growing chick. The male then takes his turn feeding in
the ocean and returns after about a month, at which point both parents tend to the chick
by regurgitating food and keeping it off the ice. Once the chick is about seven weeks old, it
joins other chicks in a creche (huddle) to keep warm.
Status: Populations of Emperor Penguins are thought to be stable. Estimates indicate about
200,000 breeding pairs.
Elephants
Elephants are
large
mammals
of
the
family Elephantidae and
the
order Proboscidea.
Traditionally, two species are recognized, the African
elephant and the Asian elephant, although some evidence
suggests that African bush elephants and African forest
elephants are separate species. Other families of the
order Proboscidea,
including mammoths andmastodons are now extinct.
Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Male
African elephants are the largest surviving terrestrial animals and can reach a height of 4 m
(13 ft) and weigh 7,000 kg (15,000 lb).
All elephants have several distinctive features the most notable of which is a long trunk or
proboscis, used for many purposes, particularly breathing, lifting water and grasping
objects. Their incisors grow into tusks, which can serve as weapons and as tools for moving
objects and digging. Elephants' large ear flaps help to control their body temperature. Their
pillar-like legs can carry their great weight. African elephants have larger ears and concave
backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.
One of the biggest threats to elephant populations is the ivory trade, as the animals are
poached for their ivory tusks. Other threats to wild elephants include habitat destruction
and conflicts with local people. Elephants are used as working animals in Asia. In the past
they were used in war; today, they are often put on display in zoos and circuses.